Today, the street-by-street routing of the Olympic Torch Relay was announced by LOCOG and it confirms what we reported previously: the Torch Relay route will not come through rural communities in North-West Hampshire.
Instead, it will be put on a bus and travel along the A30 between Basingstoke and Kings Worthy.
Local communities along the B3400 – including Whitchurch – and south past Naomi House had mounted a campaign over Christmas to try and convince Lord Coe to bring the convoy through rural North-West Hampshire towns, just as it had come through before the 1948 London Olympics.
Thousands of signatures on a petition were delivered to Lord Coe by our MP, Sir George Young, in late December.
It was hoped that seeing the Torch come through town would inspire the many local school children, and those at Naomi House who might not otherwise be able to see the Torch first-hand.
NOT POSSIBLE TO GO EVERYWHERE
Last month, Lord Coe told the campaigners: “It is simply not possible to go everywhere due to geographical and time constraints.”
Our County Councillor, Tom Thacker said then:
“HCC was led to believe that there would be some opportunity, at a local level, to ‘tweak’ the route. This however has proved, in most circumstances, not to be the case; as we discovered that LOCOG’s definition of consultation did not extend any further than them telling us where the Torch would be going.”
The lead campaigner to bring the Torch through the area was our mayor, Councillor Barry Jackman. He said simply, “I am very disappointed.”
The street route information released today states ‘Convoy’ between Basingstoke and Kings Worthy along the A30.
The torch relay street route for Day 54 when it is in our area is HERE (pdf).
Our article last month was on 28 February 2012 and was entitled Lord Coe Says No?
An interview with a person in Whitchurch who saw the Torch Relay in 1948 is on the town website’s YouTube channel HERE.